Friday, April 24, 2015



Let me start out by saying that I am not a huge fan of ham.  I like it.  Generally speaking though I can't eat too much of it because it is too salty for me.

My Mother and I were on a little drive out to Amish Country here in NY or should I say Mennonite Country. (Find out the difference between Amish and Mennonite here at Dutch News.)  At one of the grocery type stores we found some samples of ham.  It was delicious.  Different from what I have tried before.  I have had all manor of hams.  Spiral sliced, brown sugar, honey baked, various companies and one from a local farm.  This was way better than all of them.  It was more flavorful and it tasted fresh. Definitely more of that ham in our family's future.

Source: PA Dutch Country Blog

Ina Garten's recipe for a glaze that I saw on The Chew worked really well for the ham.  Everyone loved the sauce.  Smokin' good.  Lipsmacking good. Everything about this ham was lovely, right down to the leftovers.

Recipe adapted from this recipe by Ina Garten.

6 Garlic Cloves
8 1/2 ounces Orange Marmalade
1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
1 zest of Orange
1/4 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Have a roasting pan with a rack inside ready, along with some foil to cover.

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in a blender, chop garlic first. Add the marmalade, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice and process until smooth. Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 to 1 1/2  hours,  depending on the size of your ham.  The ham should be fully heated and the glaze well browned. Serve hot or at room temperature. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Slaw Cakes

My family is funny about cole slaw.  Sometimes I can make a big bowl of it and it is gone in a blink of an eye.  Other times it can sit around for days, like a wallflower- totally unnoticed.  Sadly, even with all its many great virtues it just can't be sold to my husband or kids.  What to do?

Now, I know slaw is great on a hot dog or a pulled prok sandwich.  I know it is great on a Baja Fish taco... but what else?  How can I use up a large quantity of it?  Enter the pancake.

I saw a post for the Kitchn about how people use up there cole slaw and there was this comment from this lady of One Hot Stove. It said something to the effect of add rice flour, chick pea flour and buttermilk and make a pancake.  Well, that is exactly what I did. 

You can most certainly add in regular flour in place of the rice and besan flour.  As you mix it up you want the consistency of pancake batter.  Do a test pancake and see how it comes out.  Add more buttermilk if it is too thick and more flour if it is too thin.  You have to go by feel.  After I made four pancakes, I decided to add in some za'tar.  We really like that spice mix.  I liked it both ways.

I have to tell you that the pancake really reminded me of a potato pancake.  I gave my Mother a taste before I told her what it was made of and she said it tasted like a potato pancake as well.  Next time, I make it, because for sure there will be a next time, I will try potato flour in place of the rice flour.

So how fast did that coleslaw go after I morphed it?  REALLY fast! 

Slaw Cakes

4 cups coleslaw (the kind with mayonnaise but I believe the kind with vinegar would work well too)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup besan aka chick pea flour
1 cup buttermilk
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs

Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt.  Stir everything else in a bowl to accomodate the amount you have.  Add in the dry ingredients.  Stir just to make sure it is combined.

Place a griddle on the stove and have it on medium heat.  You want to cook it  a bit on the slow side so that the insides, that are pretty moist, have a chance to cook.  If you cook it too quickly it will brown on the outside but remain uncooked on the inside.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Carrot Cake Torte

Gluten free and delicious.  I have always loved European type tortes- no wheat flour.  Almond flour.  Love it.  Not real sweet, Delicious.

I found the recipe on this blog.  Kuechenlatein.   I guess she and her family did not like it so much.  We did.  We liked it a lot.  

Carrot Cake Torte

Recipe adapted from this recipe at Kuechenlatein.

300 grams of sugar
5 lg eggs, separated, yolk and egg white
300 grams almonds, finely ground
300 grams of carrots, finely grated
1 lemon zest
40 grams of cornstarch
2 tablespoons Kirsch
1 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground cloves
1 pinch of salt
3 tablespoons apricot jam

300 grams of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. Water

Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper, grease the edges of the pan. Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix egg yolks with sugar in a bowl until the mixture becomes light yellow and ribbony.  In a separate bowl, mix almond flour, baking soda and cornstarch together. Stir in grated carrots, lemon zest, almond flour mixture, kirsch and spices.

In a separate bowl add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff. Fold in the yolk mixture. Mix until just combined. In the prepared pan and immediately in the lower half of the oven to bake for about 1 hour.

Place on cooling rack. After about ten minutes you can remove the spring form pan edge, let cool.

Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted pour through a sieve and spread on the cake.

In a bowl beat the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add the tablespoons of water as needed and mix well. Smooth glaze over the cake, let it flow over the surface and edge. With the spatula move the glaze to the edge and let it dry.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Sure feels nice to get out and walk in the sunshine.  I think everyone was out yesterday walking, doing chores, or just sitting outside.  Warmth, glorious warmth. 

We have thought so many times about moving out of the area because of the cold.  I am okay with it but my husband is not.  He prefers tropical type climates really.  But he resigned himself to this area because of the fact that Rochester is a great place to live.  We have almost no natural disasters.  Thats not to say that we are immune to disasters but in general we don't have earthquakes all the time, or tornadoes or hurricanes or tsunamis.  Here we stay.  It's a family oriented community with a lot of culture.  A great public library system, all kinds of activities for children and families, the lake- Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes are nearby, lots of theaters, the RPO...  
Recipe from Taste of Home.  Find it here.
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

1 egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts 

In a large bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan (no need to grease). Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown; cool slightly.

In a small bowl, beat the egg, brown sugar, vanilla and baking powder until blended. Stir in coconut and pecans. Spread over crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 2 dozen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Nut Free Dog Treats

My dog will choose peanut butter over meat.  It's just that simple.  So why make nut free dog treat? With a couple of friends with nut allergies, I thought I needed to find a treat that would not hurt them when they are over.  Also, I like to use up the fat that has been rendered from different stuff I cook.
I squirreled an entire batch away to the freezer.  I don't like the fat sitting around in my fridge forever.  The bacon would probably be okay because of the enormous salt content in it.  But I'd still rather not take my chances with it going bad. For this recipe I used part chicken fat and part bacon fat.  My parents are nice enough to save their bacon fat for me.  I think I probably fry up bacon two times, maybe four times a year. I used to hate it because of the grease mess.  Now, I just do it in the oven.  No mess really.  My oven stays pretty clean.  I think it just burns off in there.


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup melted bacon fat or other animal fat
1 large egg
1/2 pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree 
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (opt)
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients. You may need to add more flour, depending.  You want it to be able to roll it - not sticky- but moist. Cut with a cookie cutter or cut into squares or rounds.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, flip, place back in oven, then turn off the heat.  Let the oven cool with the treats in it.  This will help them crisp up a little more.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Egg Bread

Such promise is held in Spring, Easter time, new beginnings. Thinking about the upcoming growing season and all the doings of summer.

I usually buy tulips in the Spring because I need to be reminded what flowers look like, what color looks like and its kind of a promise of what is to come.

We had a lot of fun coloring eggs.  My friend and her son came over which made it even more fun.  I had a bit of double duty making a cake for my husbands birthday.  I was in the kitchen all day.  When the dishes were all done, everything put away it was nearly six.  We dyed eggs, made a cake and frosted it, cooked sauce, fried up some onions for topping and made pizza for the little celebration, oh and made a card. A pretty eventful day I would say.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.  

1/2 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
3 eggs
1 egg plus 2 tablespoons water for egg wash
3 to 6 colored hard boiled eggs

In a large bowl, mix sugar, yeast, cardamom, salt and 2 cups flour. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. You wanted heated, right before it boils, remove from heat.  Don't boil it.  Let cool until you can hold your finger in it for fifteen seconds. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs; beat on high 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

If you are using a mixer, let mix until everything is incorporated and then for another minute or two.  If you not using a mixer be sure to turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Gently fold down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Set the one half back in bowl.  You are going to make two loaves.  Divide the one half into three equal portions.  Roll each portion into a 24-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid. Bring ends together to form a ring. Pinch ends to seal. Lightly coat dyed eggs with oil; arrange on braid, tucking them carefully between ropes.

Cover with a damp kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.

In a bowl, whisk remaining egg and water; gently brush over dough, avoiding eggs. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices per loaf). About 187 calories per 1/12th of a single loaf.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Reminder on Rabbits

Source:  The Raspberry Rabbit

For all of you who are tempted this time of year to buy a pet bunny for your little ones or even yourself.  Please do your research first.  Owning a bunny is more involved than what you think.  Read this article and by all means learn more about it from other sources as well.  Make an informed choice.  Don't make a choice based on cute.  There are stuffed animals for that and petting zoos.  Go to this link at The Raspberry Rabbits for a great article about bunny ownership.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sweet Potato Hummus

I made some falafel last week along with some sweet potato hummus.  Love hummus, love sweet potatoes.  Why not?  My sister in law told me that she was making some.  I had a sweet potato in my fridge and decided I would make it too! Besides my brother was all jealous that she was making it and he wasn't there to eat it.  No worries bro, we will recreate it.

Here is a couple tips about sweet potato hummus.  One, it is a bit sweet so you want to balance it out with some heat.  For this sweetness reason not everyone liked it.  But the next day the people that didn't much care for it liked it a whole lot better. So tip number two, make it a day in advance.  Personally, I loved it. It was so creamy and delicious to me.

I have seen recipes where they say to add coriander.  While I love coriander I wasn't grooving on it the last time I added it to my hummus.  So not keen on it.  If you make it and add coriander, let me know, I would love to hear how it came out.

Sweet Potato Hummus

2 generous tablespoons of tahini
1 teaspoon sriracha salt*
1 1/2 cup sweet potatoes, cooked
1 can chick peas, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 2 teaspoons cumin
juice of half to a whole lemon depending on your preference ( the acid also tones down the sweet from the sweet potato)

In a food processor, mince garlic first then add the remainder of the ingredients.  If you like your hummus more thin then add a little water. Or you could reserve the liquid from the chick peas and add a little of that in as well.

*If you do not have Sriracha salt just use either a pinch of cayenne (or red pepper flakes) plus a teaspoon of kosher salt. Up it according to your heat preference.  The heat sets off the sweet of the sweet potatoes rather nicely.